Escalations continue near the Svitlodarsk Bulge
The Telegram channel “WarGonzo” shared drone footage on December 20 of Russian-led separatist artillery fire targeting a position held by Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF). According to the description with the video, the attack was an “answer for Horlivka,” in reference to alleged December 18–19 Ukrainian shelling of civilian areas of non-government-controlled Horlivka.
@DFRLab geolocated this footage to a UAF position near the village of Zaitseve, located west of government-held Svitlodarsk and north of non-government-held Debaltseve and Horlivka. Below, footage from the WarGonzo video is overlaid onto Google Earth imagery near Zaitseve, showing the shelled position.
This shelling place on December 19, on the same day that the Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Press Center shared details on the attack and photographs of the aftermath.
This shelling marks the continuation of a recent spike in violence near Horlivka and the so-called “Svitlodarsk Bulge,” located in between Svitlodarsk and Debaltseve in the Donetsk Oblast.
This week, @DFRLab analyzed a Russian-led separatist shelling of the government-controlled town of Novoluhanske, which resulted in eight injuries and extensive property damage. The U.S. Department of State commented on this shelling and called for Russia and the forces it leads to bring “an end to the attacks in eastern Ukraine.”
.@statedeptspox: The United States calls on #Russia to put an end to the attacks in eastern #Ukraine, withdraw its forces and heavy weapons from the sovereign territory of Ukraine, and agree to a robust @UNPeacekeeping mission. pic.twitter.com/V3tHVSfHar
— Department of State (@StateDept) December 19, 2017
@DFRLab will continue to monitor the ongoing fighting near the Svitlodarsk bulge, with a particular focus on the use of Minsk-banned unguided indiscriminate multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) being deployed on both sides of the contact line in the Donbas.
Follow the latest Minsk II violations via the @DFRLab’s #MinskMonitor.
Also, follow @DFRLab on Twitter for more in-depth analysis from our #DigitalSherlocks.